Guard to get new adjutant general

Official change-of-command of Nevada's 3,000 citizen-soldiers will take place in a Saturday afternoon ceremony at the Air National Guard base in Reno.

Gov. Kenny Guinn will officially pass the colors of the guard from retiring Maj. Gen. Giles Vanderhoof to Brig. Gen. (select) Cynthia Kirkland following the official assumption-of-command ceremony.

Vanderhoof has served more than 46 years in the Air National Guard, including four years as adjutant general to which he was appointed in January 2001 on the retirement of Maj. Gen. Drennan Clark, according to Nevada National Guard public information officer, April Conway.

Vanderhoof, 64, has reached the statutory age limit, says Conway, but he will continue on as a member of the governor's staff as Nevada's Homeland Security Advisor.

Brig. Gen. (select) Cynthia Kirkland, who will be officially promoted to her new status as Brigadier General in a separate ceremony earlier Saturday morning, will be the first woman in the history of the Nevada National Guard to hold the position of adjutant general.

Kirkland, 51, enlisted in the Guard in 1982 after being honorably discharged from her service in the U.S. Navy.

She is a 1992 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Since 2003, she has served as chief of staff of the Standing Joint Force Headquarters, a team of planning and operations experts.

The adjutant general is commander of all Nevada National Guard assets, including armor, aviation, intelligence, signal and support elements, according to Conway.

The ceremony is open to invited military and honored guests only.

Currently, about 60 percent of the Nevada National Guard is deployed overseas in the war on terror.

n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.


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